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How Can I Become Someone’s Legal Guardian in Illinois?

Posted on in Adoption/Guardianships

Wheaton adoption and guardianship lawyersIn some family situations, the biological parents may be unable to care for their child. The parents may be deceased, in prison, out of the country on military duty, incapacitated due to illness, or simply absent or unfit. In these cases, other adults or family members may offer to provide care. Elderly adults or those who are mentally or physically disabled may also require the care of friends or relatives. In some scenarios, the person doing the caretaking may wish to seek legal guardianship. This offers all parties certain legal protections, allowing them to make decisions related to finances, living arrangements, education, and healthcare. 

What Are the Requirements for Guardianship?

According to Illinois law, a person must meet several requirements to be considered for guardianship. It is important to note the guardian does not have to be related to the child. The conditions that need to be met include all of the following: 

  • Be 18 years old or older;
  • Be a resident of the United States (courts may appoint immigrants who are undocumented in some cases);
  • Be of sound mind;
  • Not disabled by legal definition; and
  • Not convicted of a felony that involved harm or threat to a child.

What Are the Types of Guardianship for a Child?

Legal guardianship allows a person who is not a parent make important decisions for a child, just as a parent normally would. There are several types of guardianship:

  • Plenary: This is a long-term guardian. Once someone is appointed a plenary guardian, he or she cannot relinquish the responsibility, unless a judge rules that a parent is able to care for the child again or another person is willing to become the guardian. This form of guardianship ends automatically when the child turns 18.
  • Standby: This guardian takes over when a parent or legal guardian is no longer able to care for a child. For instance, when a parent or guardian becomes sick, dies, or moves away from the child for an extended time. A parent or guardian must select the standby guardian and put it in writing. This can be done using the Designation of Standby Guardian form. It must be witnessed by two people who are 18 or older. 
  • Short-term: This form of guardianship is for the child for one year or less. The parent or guardian designates the short-term guardian. The agreement must be in writing and witnessed by at least two people who are 18 or older. 

Contact a Naperville Guardianship Attorney

Becoming a person’s legal guardian can be life-changing for everyone involved. Whether you want to be the guardian of a child or an adult, the paperwork and processes can be intimidating. The team at Anderson & Associates, P.C. has many years of experience in helping people secure guardianships. One of our diligent Oak Brook adoption and guardianship lawyers will guide you through the legal proceedings. Call our office today at 630-653-9400 to schedule a free consultation. 




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